In business schools, the buy-and-hold strategy is still viewed by the majority as the most viable investing strategy for the financial markets.
It is hard to change old beliefs. I often wonder if those who teach such strategies have their own money invested according to their teachings.
"Buy-And-Hold" In The Last 15 Years
An investor buying the S&P 500 Index 15 years ago, would have endured two horrific bear markets. Both of which cut the major indexes by 50%. Twice!
Is this what you want?
Had you caught the major part of each bear market while in bear funds, and the major part of each bull market while in bull funds, you would be ahead over 600%.
This is what we did at Fibtimer and because we have been online since 1996, we have the realtime trading statistics to prove it.
"Buy-And-Hold" In The 90s
Most people invested using the buy-and-hold strategy in the 1990s, and as we all know, they lost a bundle when the dot-com bubble burst and the 2000-2002 bear market began with losses of 50% to 80%.
After several years, investors finally began to feel better about the financial markets when in 2007-2008 the major indexes took another 50% hit.
If stock prices are based on the fundamentals of the companies they represent, how could such losses occur?
Investment professionals now admit that stock prices are based mostly on the beliefs of the masses. Assets of a company may play a role in the stock price, but the bulk of the price is influenced by popular opinion.
It's hard for many new market timers to accept the idea that prices are based on beliefs of the masses and little more.
But in the acceptance of this truth lies the path to profits.
"Buy-And-Hold" In The 70s and 80s
Have you ever talked to people who traded stocks in the 1970s? Many will tell you, "I learned my lesson a long time ago. I put my money in the markets and lost it. Never again."
In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, just about all investors used a buy-and-hold strategy.
They searched for "undervalued" stocks, purchased shares, held them, and waited for them to increase in value.
Sometimes it worked, but many times it didn't. And even when it did work, profits weren't anything near what an active market timer or trader can make.
The buy-and-hold strategy misleads investors. The markets don't go in one direction forever, whether the trend is bullish or bearish.
Only by trading the ups and downs of the market can you make significant profits. If you are striving to become a profitable market timer (trader), it is vital that you cast aside the buy-and-hold mindset of the long-term investor, and learn to "think" like a market timer.
The "Trading Edge"
Without a crystal ball, you can't know the future direction of stock prices with any amount of certainty, regardless of whether you use fundamental or technical analysis.
However, once you recognize the market prices are the result of millions of investors who "believe" they know the direction prices are going to take, you have the "key" to beating the markets.
Knowing that prices are based on the beliefs of the masses is your "trading edge."
If you look at any long term chart of the financial markets, you will see that "most" of the time, the markets are moving up or down in trends that last many months, and sometimes years.
These "trends" reflect the "beliefs" of all those investors. And those "beliefs" are controlled by the "emotions" of fear and greed.
While prices are rising, the majority of investors "believe" they will "continue" to rise.
While prices are "falling" the majority of investors "believe" they will "continue" to fall.
Because emotions are involved, you will see more investors buying near tops and pushing prices higher than anyone expected they would go.
And of course, because emotions are involved, you will also see more investors selling near bottoms, pushing prices lower than anyone expected they would go.
This has been going on since the beginning of free market trading.
FibTimer uses that "trading edge." We know that the "masses" will push the financial markets in big up and down moves. Not all the time, but most of the time. That "trading edge" is our key to profits.
FibTimer does not try to "predict" where the market is going. We trade "market trends." Those very same trends that are created by the masses of investors who are buying into rallies and selling into declines.
We also know that trends will last longer than most expect and that is why we stay "with" the trend all the way.
Over time, the "knowledge" that the masses will push the markets up and down in huge trends, and trading those trends, results in huge profits.